Dear Press Balanced Coverage Please

Dear Michigan Press:

Could you please cover education like you cover all other news sectors? Please have a more balanced focus. The stories that always make the news seem to be negative. “A teacher … ” “Bomb threat at ….” “Students behaved ….” The headlines sensationalize rare events in our educational world. Sure negative events happen in all sectors of our lives: Government, Business, Education and Entertainment. It seems these other areas get more well rounded coverage. For every negative story about GM’s recall there is a positive about their fund raising or the car show. The Entertainment sector seems to be loaded with positive stories to offset the occasional blunder by a star. Why is it that a single educator blunder makes the top of the news cycle while all the thousands of positive stories garner little or no coverage?

I always see live coverage of the great positive stories around metro Detroit: Auto Show, Woodward Dream Cruise, Winter Blast, Boat Show, Autorama, etc. Did you know there are two great event coming up about education? MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) will bring over 5,000 educators to COBO center in Detroit March 18-20. This would be an ideal time to do a live broadcast. The news teams could talk to educators from all over the state to hear about the latest and greatest practices going on in the classrooms. Ideas from Flipped learning, I-Books for education, to Twitter Chats for connecting teachers all will be discussed. The public needs to hear about what educators do to grow professionally. It might be more entertaining than the standard live remotes to cover March Madness that occur around this time of year.

If an educational convention is not deemed news worthy enough, check out ShiftMich Idea Slam March 19 7:30-11:00 pm at the Detroit Beer Company.  The Idea Slam is a fast paced “pitch fest” and networking event for educators. Selected projects will be presented and attendees will vote on their favorite ideas. Winning projects will receive up to $1,000 towards their innovative educational idea. The rest of the evening is an informal meet-up with fun conversations and delicious offerings from the Detroit Beer Company. The concept of the Idea Slam was inspired by the Detroit Soup and TED Conference formats.

Be balanced in your coverage! Hope to see your coverage of these up coming events!

Christmas Wish for Education

All I want for Christmas is that education be valued in our society! Sure most people will say they value education when asked, but what does that look like? Scan our media and see where educators our held up in high esteem? Can you find many places?
When new outlets talk to “educational” experts they rarely if ever talk to TEACHERS, the ones in education. News likes to talk to the think tank experts who have spent little time if any in a classroom. Funny isn’t it? When they want medical opinions they talk to doctors, legal opinions they talk to lawyers, cooking advice they even talk to master chefs. BUT when it comes to talking about education, no lets talk to people who have strong opinions but haven’t spent time in a classroom! When it comes to depicting teachers in TV and Film are they held in high regard like: Doctors, Lawyers, Police or Fire personal? NO the educators come off as stereotypical characters who could not “do” so they had to teach. It is hard to find a teacher represented as a positive character anywhere. Schools are a reflection of our society we need to hold them up and show that they are valuable to us.
What is your Christmas wish for Education?

#MLEM13 AMLE Twitter event 3-7-13

Tonight I had the honor of being on the panel for an AMLE twitter celebration for Middle Level Education Month. The topic was two-fold: First about celebrating middle level education and Second about collaboration. This was a very well attended and lively chat.

http://storify.com/ToddBloch/mled13-amle-twitter-event-3-7-13

The Panel was:

Todd Bloch @blocht574 : great middle level thinker and supporter who hosts a weekly twitter chat on Thursday nights at 8p.  Hashtag #mschat

·         Summer Howarth @EduSum : a wonderful middle years teacher from Australia who has travelled to the US for professional development and a serious tweeter. http://edusum.edublogs.org/

·         Julie Ramsay  @JulieDRamsay : a prolific tweeter, fifth grade teacher, and Stenhouse author who is really in tune to middle grades   http://juliedramsay.blogspot.com/

·         Todd Williamson @twilliamson15 : tech-savvy director of technology at a school district in North Carolina who has been interviewed about technology integration on Middle Matters for their podcast

·         Rick Wormeli @RickWormeli : nationally and internationally recognized educator and speaker on all matters related to the middle level

and the questions were:

a.       Why should we celebrate the middle level?

b.       How should we (teachers, schools, parents) celebrate the middle level?

c.       How can we involve students in that celebration?

d.       What are some challenges we will face in the middle level?

e.       How can we prepare ourselves and deal with those challenges?

f.        Why is collaboration such an important element in the middle level?

g.       How can we collaborate more effectively –time, technology, etc.?